Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why We Don't Do Santa

Duncan and I decided a while ago that we wouldn't try to convince Rory (and any other children we might have) to believe in Santa.  Duncan was raised in a Christian home where the focus was on Jesus being the reason for the season.  I was raised in a secular home and believed in Santa until I was about nine, I think.  My parents encouraged belief in Santa (and the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy) and it did make my childhood quite exciting and magical.

So, why don't I want Rory to believe in Santa?

Well, let's just say that I don't think Santa is this huge issue which Christians should fight against.  He's not the reason for Christmas, but I don't want to be known as anti-Santa.  I just don't want him to be the centre of Christmas.  I'm quite happy for Rory to put out food for Santa, sit on his knee at Christmas parties, and have a Christmas stocking.  I love Harry Potter, but I don't think it's real.  You can enjoy the fantasy behind something without being deluded by it.  I fully intend to tell Rory that, although we don't do Santa in our family, it doesn't give him the right to ruin other children's fun or laugh at them.  We can disagree, but still be gentle and respectful.

The ladies over at the GirlTalk blog put it so well:
First of all, it is helpful to remember that belief in Santa isn’t a major theological front on which we mothers must fight. The well-meaning people who ask our children “What is Santa going to bring you?” aren’t questioning the deity of Christ or the authority of God’s Word. They might be perpetuating the myth of Santa, but the essential truths of the gospel are not at stake in these conversations with strangers (or friends). And the motives of these individuals are generally an expression of kindness to you and your children. 

The post where this quote comes from is fantastic in helping Christian families who don't 'do Santa' relate to those who do.  I can see this becoming quite an issue as Rory gets older since all the kids we go to playgroup with (who will also be the ones he goes to school with) all come from families where Santa is the focus of Christmas.  It's almost seen as child abuse by some non-Christians to not encourage belief in Santa, as if you're ruining their childhood.  I can also see this becoming an issue with my parents.

So, why don't we do Santa in our family?
  •  Christmas is about Christ, not Santa.  Jesus is real, Santa is not.
  • I don't want to lie to my kids.  The world may see it as a 'white lie', but a lie is still a lie.
  • Santa only brings gifts to kids who've been good.  Jesus IS the greatest gift of all, and His gift of salvation cannot be earned by being 'good'.
  • Santa is unfair.  He brings better presents to wealthier kids and nothing much to poorer kids.  How do you explain that?  How do you explain to your child why Santa brought their friend an iPad and them a colouring book and stickers?
  • I don't want some old guy who doesn't exist to take credit for the presents Duncan and I give (haha).
Pretty happy with his present at the daycare Christmas party

This was at our tennis club's Christmas party.
Rory doesn't like beards, so Santa was NOT a hit.

 If you're a Christian parent, how do your deal with the issue of Santa?

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